Get in the KNOW
on LA Startups & TechX
SoCal SaaS is Back With Recurring Revenue Conference
Sutton Capital Partners’ annual Recurring Revenue Conference returns June 23rd, offering for the first time a hybrid model for in-person and virtual access to the subscription economy-focused event at the Hilton Los Angeles in Culver City.
“Most people don’t think of SaaS as sexy,” said conference co-founder Nancy Hammerman. “Maybe it’s crazy, but we thought otherwise.” Along with Peter Cowen, Hammerman founded the technology investment banking firm Sutton Capital Partners, which specializes in selling and raising capital for founder-based fintech and SaaS (software-as-a-service) companies.
In 2015, they hosted the first annual Recurring Revenue Conference at the Luxe Summit Sunset Boulevard, which grew to over 700 attendees before the pandemic in 2020 halted live events.
Few other industries have weathered the storm of COVID-19 better than the tech industry, and within even that competitive space, SaaS companies saw a boom growth period as customers found themselves in need of accelerated technology to enhance remote working and distributed teams. It was rare to find a company that made it through the pandemic without SaaS digital collaboration platforms like Zoom, Gmail or Slack.
For a host of reasons, the Southern California tech community particularly benefited from the recent uptick in working from home. Aided by a large influx of new and larger VC funds, successes grew exponentially in sales, with several local startups reached IPOs or large equity rounds.
"It’s really about the new strategies, tactics and increasing level of sophistication subscription companies need to survive,” Cowen told dot.LA about the conference. “It’s what makes this year truly exciting.”
“The past couple of years have seen a marked increase in funding, bringing greater competition through virtually all sectors,” he added, pointing to companies like ServiceTitan, Appetize, ZipRecruiter, ReCharge, Snap Raise! and Bambee as examples.Not to be underestimated is the sheer scale of the number of smaller companies in SoCal that started or exploded in the past two years; it’s now the nation’s third-densest region for funded companies.
This year’s hybrid attendance model will allow people from all over the country access to top thought-leaders in the subscription economy, providing networking opportunities that previously have only been available to locals. Since 2015, the conference has featured panels and keynotes from such luminaries as ZipRecruiter founder and CEO Ian Siegel, Snap’s Justin Sternberg, Nextbite founder Alex Cantor, Blackline’s Therese Tucker and “Predictable Revenue” author Aaron Ross.
The theme of this year’s Conference is “Deep Customer Engagement.” The morning’s keynote speaker is Nick Mehta, founder of Gainsight, the leader in analyzing customer engagement and deploying strategies to improve engagement.
The afternoon keynote from dot.LA's Spencer Rascoff will touch on SoCal’s rapid rise to prominence.
The Recurring Revenue Conference returns June 23rd. (Photo via Sutton Capital)
“We are particularly excited to have Spencer, given his experience in co-founding Zillow, more recently Pacaso and his active seed investing. He is at the pulse of the market and can impart insights to entrepreneurs plus discuss the rapid changes in the marketplace” Cowen told dot.LA.
“Each year, we feature a special panel ‘Recurring Revenue Rockstars: Hidden Gems that Might Surprise You,’ featuring our region’s next generation of breakout companies,” Hammerman told dot.LA. “Over a dozen previous rockstars have received major funding or been sold.”
“We pride ourselves on creating great and relevant content for the local tech community,” she added. This year’s panel includes one on analytics, one on fintech, another on winning the talent war and a VC panel called ‘Meet the Money," featuring panelists like TX Zhou of Fika Ventures, Minnie Ingersoll of TenOneTen, and Alex Rubalcava of Stage Venture Partners.The event’s full agenda can be found here.
The quality of the panels themselves aside, perhaps the most significant reason people attend the Recurring Revenue Conference remains the opportunity to network and reconnect with others in the community. After a two-year hiatus, the Sutton Capital Partners team are looking forward to seeing everyone back together again and connecting with many new innovators who are helping make SaaS one of the most exciting—and dare we say—sexy sectors of emerging technology.
Venue information:Hilton Los Angeles Culver City
For tickets and info: Recurring Revenue Conference
Enter Promo Code: DOTLA229 and save over $200 for Dot.La Readers (limited availability).
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
Starting today, Glendale’s most meme-able outdoor mall, The Americana at Brand, will be home to the Amazon Style store—the ecommerce giant’s first foray into brick-and-mortar apparel retail. We got an early sneak peak inside the new digs (located on the corner with Sprinkles Cupcakes, next to H&M and the Apple store) and were able to try out some of its tech-enabled features, which—as ever with Amazon—seek to make the act of shopping as easy as possible.
1. It’s Bigger Than It Looks—Even From the Inside
The floor is massive—laying out original products from Amazon’s own apparel lines alongside name brands like Theory, Adidas and Calvin Klein, as well as several other lines that have up until now only existed online. But the actual store is much larger than the two floors that most customers will only ever see.
Amazon Style is just the front—the homepage, if you will—behind which a large warehouse facility keeps a gigantic surplus of inventory. A floor-to-ceiling glass window on the main floor gives shoppers just a peak behind the scenes, as employees help load industrial-sized elevators with racks of goods to send upstairs to the dressing rooms.
2. Online Shopping IRL
When perusing the store’s bouquet of cottagecore maxi dresses, Kendall & Kylie blazers and, yes, a whole section dedicated to Y2K apparel, one doesn’t just pick an item off the rack and take it with you while you shop. Instead, each rack has a barcode that you can scan via the Amazon Shopping app, which has your sizes pre-loaded from previous purchases. (You can opt for a different size if you choose.) That cues an AI-enabled algorithm to start searching through the store’s warehoused catalog and zip the desired item over to the second floor, where the dressing room provides its own glimpse into the future of shopping.
The store also boasts a version of The Drop, an Amazon staple that allows online customers to shop entire influencer-curated collections for a 30-hour flash window.
3. Changing Stations of the Future—Today
Your phone also acts as your keycard to get into your personal dressing room. To prevent waiting, you are put in a virtual cue the moment you scan your first item; should the Amazon app prompt that your room is ready while you’re still shopping, a tap of your screen allows you to hold your spot in the queue while freeing up the room for someone else. (And if your phone dies while you’re waiting, Amazon says a Style employee on the floor will be happy to help you keep your place in line, or hook you up with a charge.)
Amazon Style’s dressing rooms offer a tech-enabled twist to trying on clothes.Image by Joshua Letona
The changing room is like its own parlor trick. Designed to look like a walk-in closet, one wall has a full-length mirror and a giant touchscreen while another has all the clothes you scanned in your style and size preference. Expect to see a few surprises in there, as Amazon’s algorithm picks out other stuff you might want to try on based on your picks. It would be spooky if it wasn’t so convenient—an IRL mashup of the online retailer’s “Recommended Based on Your Purchases” and “Frequently Bought Together” features.
If an item doesn’t fit quite right or you want to see how a skirt looks in blue instead of black, just tap the touchscreen to request a variant. Or an entirely new outfit, as the screen makes available everything in the facility. Then just bring it down to checkout—perhaps the wildest part of this ride.
4. Palming the Bucks
Checking out of Amazon Style’s flagship store is what really blew my mind—although apparently it’s because I haven’t been to one of the Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods locations where cashless checkouts have been an option in select stores since 2020.
I assumed you could just walk out the door with your purchase, because I watch "Saturday Night Live" sketches for news. While the Go payment option isn't available at Amazon Style, there are several checkout options to keep the experience as frictionless and non-cumbersome as possible.
One way is to take the clothes you want out of the dressing room and go directly to Amazon’s palm-enabled checkout kiosks. That’s right: Register on the spot for an Amazon One account, and you need merely to wave your hand over a little black device that reads your palm and charges your on-file payment method. It’s super convenient for everyone except $10 boardwalk psychics, who just may be put out of business by such technology.
For the more traditional set, you still have the option of paying via credit card or cash.
Shoppers can check out of Amazon Style with the wave of a palm. Image by Joshua Letona
5. Supply & Demand & Return
Amazon Style’s brick-and-mortar location opens up a variety of new ways to shop, return and exchange clothing. For instance, you can order a load of clothes online and pick them up in the store; anything you don’t want can be returned in the store without you ever having to print a shipping label.
See something you like but don’t have time to try it on? Just scan the barcode, pick it up at the front of the store and pay on your way out without ever going into a dressing room.
The Amazon Shopping app also boasts a Deals feature, which automatically sorts for the best price on items to help customers either save money (or believe they are).
While Glendale is home to the only Style store so far, Amazon isn’t ruling out more locations. With fewer retailers able to afford rents on America’s main strips and shopping malls, Amazon’s resources—and its unique position at the intersection of tech and retail—make it easy to envision more Style stores on the horizon.
- Amazon To Add 2,500 Corporate and Tech Jobs in Expansion of ... ›
- Inside Amazon Fresh, Amazon's Ecommerce Grocery Store - dot.LA ›
- Amazon Unveils its New Go Grocery Stores - dot.LA ›
- Amazon Is Opening Its First Clothing Store in Glendale - dot.LA ›
Drew Grant is dot.LA's Senior Editor. She's a media veteran with over 15-plus years covering entertainment and local journalism. During her tenure at The New York Observer, she founded one of their most popular verticals, tvDownload, and transitioned from generalist to Senior Editor of Entertainment and Culture, overseeing a freelance contributor network and ushering in the paper's redesign. More recently, she was Senior Editor of Special Projects at Collider, a writer for RottenTomatoes streaming series on Peacock and a consulting editor at RealClearLife, Ranker and GritDaily. You can find her across all social media platforms as @Videodrew and send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three months after opening its new headquarters in Santa Monica, micromobility startup Veo is expanding its fleet and its footprint. As of last week, riders have been able to cross the municipal boundary between Santa Monica and L.A. and take trips north to Will Rogers State Beach, south to Marina Del Rey and east to Mar Vista.
“It’s good to see more people able to actually commute from Santa Monica to a nearby neighborhood…because in the past, we [did] see a lot of people stopped at the boundary,” said Veo CEO Candice Xie.
A screenshot shows Veo scooters' new availability on the west side of the city of L.A.
Still, riders will not be able to ride all through the city of L.A. The city of L.A. has only granted them permits for 500 vehicles. Xie said they’re focusing on expanding the boundaries of where their mostly Santa Monica-based users are already indicating they want to ride.
As part of the expansion, the company is adding a mixed fleet of 400 e-bikes and 100 standing scooters.
Enterprising riders who venture beyond the new, expanded geofenced zone can expect to receive a warning text message and for their vehicle to come to a slow stop. In addition, they will not be allowed to leave the e-scooter or e-bike outside of the zone without incurring a penalty that starts at $15.
Currently, it costs riders $1 to unlock and $0.33 cents per minute to ride (plus tax and fees). Residents of Santa Monica and Los Angeles who qualify can apply to ride at a reduced rate through Veo Access, where riders pay $5 per month for unlimited 30 minute rides.
Xie said that the permit approval process for the city of L.A. took longer than originally anticipated and that this new expansion will happen in phases, with the next phase anticipated in two to three months.
Veo is the seventh micromobility operator currently permitted in the city of Los Angeles, joining rivals Bird, Lime, Wheels, LINK (Superpedestrian), Lyft and Spin.
Veo’s expansion comes at a precarious time for the shared micromobility market. Earlier this month, Santa Monica-based Bird laid off 23% of its staff. Layoffs were also reported at both Superpedestrian and Voi this week.
However, Xie said that Veo is doubling down on both the greater L.A. area and California as a whole, as it recently launched in Berkeley and intends to move into Santa Clara and San Jose soon. As other companies lay off workers in pursuit of profitability, Xie said Veo is expanding.
“We're still hiring from the community and want to increase our exposure and also have more local talent join us.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Veo vehicles were already available in Santa Clara.
- Lime Is Bringing Its New, More Eco-Friendly Scooters to LA - dot.LA ›
- Escooter Startup Superpedestrian Takes to LA Streets - dot.LA ›
- Bird Scooters Are Kicked Out of Santa Monica - dot.LA ›
- Veo CEO Is Bringing Anti-Tech Bro Approach to Micromobility - dot.LA ›